One friend says, ‘The places you have visited and worked arouse suspicion.’ Her friend says, ‘Obviously a subversive.’ Another American who travels widely said, ‘I had the same experience in Vancouver.’ Still another American said he had no trouble going in and out of Canada, but the first friend asked, ‘Do you have Asian destinations in your passport?’, and he admitted he didn’t.’
A Canadian commiserates: ‘I am sorry you had to go through that situation and, yes, times have changed. As a Canadian going to the US I would expect no less of an inquiry. I again am sorry you had a bad experience at the border but the rest of us Canadians do welcome you to the land of the true north ,strong and free. Hope you will have a fun time with us as we celebrate 150 years as a nation on July 1.’
An American was less gracious: ‘One of the reasons I vowed to not go to Canada again. It just isn't worth the hassle.’ Another was more so: ‘It's the world we now live in. I do not fault them or other nations who prove to be diligent. Our world is changing due to extremists and unfortunately security has to match them to keep the innocent safe. It's sad. Fortunately, you'll learn their system and won't be caught off-guard next time. Safe travels and enjoy your time there!’
While in Canada, I met Else Lund. She is as gracious and sweet as ever, yet savvy and familiar about some things we've both had to deal with, such as so-called apostolic national church leaders acting against missionaries in their nations when those missionaries cross unethical things the national leaders do.
After the same service, the elderly, late pastor’s wife fell on the sidewalk outside. People tried to help her up and couldn’t. They had her by the hands, but I knew I couldn't just pull her up by the hand—doing it that way, a person's arm could come out of its socket. I knew that in waterskiing and whitewater rafting, you pick up someone from the shoulder part of the lifejacket to get them back in the boat. So in this case, I stooped behind her (other people were in front). Her arms were already extended out to the sides. I extended my arms forward under her arms, locked my hands (one hand grasping the other wrist), then straightened my knees to stand up. Other people were involved as well. It worked. I ask others to see if there's a better method: those of you with elderly relatives, or working with seniors, or any paramedics, or people with military training for care of wounded people—what do you recommend as the way to raise up a person who has fallen to the ground and can't get back up, and you aren't sure yet whether it's a broken bone or just weakness?
One person said, ‘It depends on what bone. If it's a leg, see if there are any protrusions, if not, see if they can put pressure on the leg. If they can, it's probably not broken, but always best to have an x-ray done to be sure. If there is a hairline fracture, it may not even show w/ the X-ray.’ Another person said, ‘Sometimes you just have to call the ambulance. If they can't get up to some sort of sitting position, they may have a broken hip and it’s best not to move them.’ Still another person said, ‘With Daddy we had to call an ambulance. Hard to lift someone who can't help you.’ And another: ‘Unsure? Its always best to call paramedics. If they help the person up and that's all that was needed- no charge.’
At another church, I had an amazing time at church where a number of First Nation (Native American) members attended. They saw my NE Indian drum and said that in their tribal (Obijawee/Cree) ceremonies a similar drum is used. We agreed that the old drums can be used now in worship of Jesus Christ, just as old pianos or guitars that once were in bars or acid rock bands can now be dedicated to Jesus Christ. For that matter, ourselves—before we gave our lives to Christ, our lives served the enemy of our souls (whether we knew that at the time or not), but now we are devoted to our Creator and Savior. One minister in comment said, ‘Same product, new package! New wine demands new wine skins.’ Another person added, ‘Awesome Reminder of all Jesus has done for us. Beautiful.’
And then I had a wonderful time at a lakeside concert in Kenora by Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Mickelthwate. As it was a public concert, they included:
'Star Spangled Banner' because of all the USA tourists there
'O Canada'--Canada Day is tomorrow
'Overture to "Barber of Seville"' by Rossini
'Eine Kleine Machtmusik', movement 1, by Mozart
'Nessun Dorma' by Puccini (sung by local trio)
'Blue Danube' waltz, by Strauss
'Symphony 2' by Brahms, movement 4
'Bolero' by Ravel
'I Could Have Danced All Night' and 'Show Me' from "My Fair Lady" (sung by same local trio)
'Farmers Symphony' by Estacio
'Con Te Partiro' by Sartori/Ricketts (sung by same local trio)
'Les Voyageurs' by Dunn
'Hallelujah; by Cohen/Palme
'Pirates of the Caribbean-Curse of the Black Pearl' by Badelt/Ricketts
'Sing Sing Sing' by Prima/Waldin
and they encored with 'Hallelujah' again
Personally, I liked Rossini, Mozart, Puccini, Strauss, Ravel and Cohen/Palme the best. I came home to find 'Hallelujah' on Youtube—its meaningful lyrics to good melody—an originally Christmas song, but useful to all times of the year.
The following Sunday, I met two congregations, had a great time with both. The first is majority-Filipino, but also has some Anglos and some Africans. The second congregation is almost entirely Filipino. I lived three years in the Philippines, so I have many positive memories. Two Filipino leaders invited me to speak in the Philippines; now we just have to fix dates. One lady I told this to said, ‘Amen. It will be a great blessing.’ One of the pastors wrote, ‘Thank you for ministering to our church, Sir! We are praying for you and your ministry.’ A lady who has known me since I was a teenager said, ‘Stan, your family are loved by Filipinos. Your dad is one of my favorite preachers.’
Then the glory departed—I left the house where I was served the best applesauce in the world—homemade from their own apple trees, rough-cut, natural, incredible, amazing, wonderful, awesome, stupendous, marvelous, 'surely-the-presence-of-the-LORD-is-in-this-place' 'think-on-these-things' applesauce, the applesauce of my eye. Thank you. One lady responded, ‘I think I want her recipes. I am green with a holy envy.’
While in Western Ontario, I visited Kenora, where I was ushered into the Temple (the lake cruise), the holy place (the classical concert) and the holy of holies (the dining room of Ruth Wittmeier. Robert Wittmeier is one very lucky husband because, while there are many good cooks, she is simply fantastic. For instance, while we were going to and fro in the earth and walking up and down in it, she had the ribs slow-cooking in barbecue sauce ('the secret is in the sauce!'), and served this with an outstanding salad, outstanding collection of baby potatoes cooked in a way different than I'd seen before, I was there two days and she performed one wonder after another until I felt like calling her cooking 'too wonderful for me'. Since her brother-in-law is a prison chaplain, I'm suggesting a career opportunity for her: 'death row cook'—people sentenced to die and being allowed a last meal of superlative excellence get one cooked by her before crossing the great divide. Only problem with this: after eating such a wonderful meal, they know this present world contains wonders previously beyond their ken, and so they no longer want to shift off this mortal coil. So perhaps, to make them glad to go, their last meal should be MY cooking, but no—that would be called 'cruel and unusual punishment', maybe even a 'clear and present danger.' So we should err on the side of mercy and give the poor unfortunates one consoling last meal. Thanks while I was there for giving me at that dining table, as an old song says, 'A Little Bit of Heaven'.